The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation has drafted norms for commercial farming and breeding of wild animals.

According to the Ministry of Forests and Environment, the norms were recently drafted and submitted to it by the DoNPWC for feedback and approval. The National Park and Wildlife Conservation (Fifth Amendment) Regulation, 2019 stipulate a provision of granting permission to any person or entity for commercial farming and breeding of various wild mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The standard, after its approval, will help to implement the regulation.

Musk deer, swamp deer, chital, hug deer, muntjac, nilgai, hare, porcupine and wild boar are the wild mammals a person or entity may rear. Under reptiles, all its species, except python, shall be allowed to keep for commercial and reproductive purposes.

Amphibians like frog and turtles can be kept.

The regulation also allows any person or entity to keep birds like peafowl, kalij, luinche, partridge (titra), chyakhura, ban kukhura, dove, myna, parrot, piura, lakhan and quail. "Any person or entity desirous to keep the wild animals and birds shall submit an application, accompanied by a detailed work plan, to the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation," says Rule 36a of the regulation. If a nine-member technical committee headed by deputy director general of the DoNPWC deems the work plan reasonable and meets all prescribed criteria, it shall recommend to the DoNPWC for approval.

The DoNPWC will decide whether or not to issue a licence on the basis of the recommendation made by the committee.

If a person or entity obtains a licence, the DoNPWC shall provide seed animals or birds to the concerned licencee after collecting prescribed fee. All expenses incurred for catching the wild animals or birds shall also be borne by the licencee.

The licencee may also import wild animals other than endangered ones from a foreign country, obtaining prior approval of the DoNPWC. The licencee may sell or export second generation of reproduced wild animals and birds or products made of their body parts by setting out its purpose. Its details should be submitted to the DoNPWC on a monthly basis.

The new provisions allow the licencee for commercial exhibition of animals or bird by obtaining permission from the DoNPWC.

Other provisions relating to minimum infrastructure, terms and conditions, and seed animals or birds for their commercial farming and reproduction will be as approved by the MoFE.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 2, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.